FORMER Brilliant Corners singer Davey Woodward is fashioning rather lovely, lo-fi, alt.folk indiepop these days, along with The Winter Orphans – a quintet rescued from the chill winds atop Spaniorum Hill to help him in his lifelong pursuit of low-slung, perfectly drawled, South West pop.
They’ve just dropped the video for “Bad Day” – plenty of those about at the moment, you don’t need reminding – the opening track from their most recent album, Love And Optimism. Please be finding this lovely thrashpop nugget to peruse down at the end.
Although often leaning to a more acoustic melodious thing these days, there’s still plenty of that fire that brought us “My Baby In Black” crikey – that long ago now? And a bad day calls for drainpipes and slingin’ the guitar low.
“Nobody visits. I’d like someone to stay / In my single bed with my microwave /I’m having a bad day,” Davey intones, that way he’s always had with a vocal line present and correct as a lead guitar winds about thrashy chords with a little of Tom Verlaine in its skirl. Top banana single, gents.
“Imagine a time when putting together the best cassette compilation ever (Today it’s called a playlist) was the sole purpose of the day,” sayeth Davey.
“Getting it right would mean the difference between a good day or bad day.
“It was also the best way to impress girls and show your mates how hip you were. A time when dreaming, looking cool and disregarding the rules was everything.
“Decades later and life catches up, poverty, broken relationships, broken families. You could make a playlist; but who would you send it to?”
“Bad Day” follows the lamenting midnight atmospheres of “Warm Hands” and the lovely chamber folk of “Occupy This Space” into presenting a pretty irrevocable case as to why any C86 kid and/or lover of intelligent pop should be making a beeline for Love & Optimism – an album recorded in the wholly different world of summer 2019. There’s a prescience to the album; the song “Clara’s Ghost” is partly about Bristol’s involvement in the slave trade – and of course, just a few months later, the statue of Edward Colston was toppled into the harbour.
Davey Woodward & The Winter Orphans’ Love and Optimism is available now digitally and on CD, trad black vinyl and limited edition white vinyl; get yourself over to Bandcamp for a copy.